In the hallway of my office is a giant post-it note. On it, in bright colored markers, I have eight bold thoughts I’ve collected to remind me to pull up my pants and get to work on what I’m trying to manifest. I won’t share all of them because they’re personal to me and my journey, but I’ll share one. It says:

For me, there are layers of story in that one single sentence.

  1. Oprah has a really great laugh. Have you heard it? It hearty, strong, and authentic. I want to hear it in person. It’s making me chuckle just thinking about it. Look at that, I just laughed, and I feel great!
  2. When I’m building experiences for people, I always ask myself “Where is the delight in this? Where is the emotional reaction?” If you’ve been to a workshop or had a coaching session, you’ll know that both tears and laughter are de rigueur. Just thinking of making someone laugh reminds me to insert humor and personality into everything I do.
  3. If I can make Oprah laugh, then I’m WITH Oprah. Do I need to explain this one?

Each time I walk past the post-it, I make myself say the sentences (all eight of them) out loud. Honestly, I recite them out loud instead of just reading them like some rational normal person. I do it because of that ridiculous asshole living in my head taunting me with “No!” and “Who do you think you are?” and “They’re going to judge you.” And probably the meanest, “There’s no way you’re going to make a living doing this. Just quit and get a real job you lunatic.”

Yup, I am my own worst critic. I allow myself to think things like this because I too get scared about the future and what it might bring. I worry that I’m making the wrong decisions, taking the wrong path, making the wrong investments in both time and money. My worry voice, that a**hole in my head, is LOUD.


If you’ve met me, you also know something else about me. I’m pretty loud when I talk. My mother once told a friend, “Joanna took acting classes at a young age. They taught her how to project her voice. The problem is, they never taught her how to turn it off.” When I walk into a conference room or a venue, and there are problems with the microphones I shrug. Not being heard is not my problem.

So back to this asshole loud voice in my head. I have the most powerful tool in the world to drown it out.

My own voice.

Guess what? You have one too. One that maybe can’t keep up with my bellowing, but is certainly loud enough to drown out that inner critic in your head. It just requires you to tell yourself what you want OUT LOUD.

Go find a giant piece of paper. The biggest one you can find. And in big bright letters write down the things you want. The wants your inner critic says you can’t have. Then stick it up in a place where you can see it. Each time you pass, if you need it or not, just say the sentences out loud.

Don’t read it, don’t whisper. Use your voice.

I talk to myself all the time. It’s magic. Maybe you can start talking to yourself too.

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